THE BEST SONGS OF KAIFI AZMI – A GREAT LYRICIST AND POET

I am a lyrical man; words of the songs are often the most important part of the songs for me. Indeed, on the Facebook I have a page titled ‘Lyrical’ to honour and pay tribute to various lyricists. I have several (almost a dozen) posts on  my blog on my favourite lyricist and poet Shakeel Badayuni. The following posts about Kaifi Azmi have been reconstructed from the same page. Kaifi Azmi was the master lyricist who could give vent to the most powerful thoughts and strongest emotions by using the simplest of the words.

Song #1
Jaane kyaa dhoondati rehati hain ye aankhen mujh mein….

Sorry for the long break due to my being away to Dehradun, Haridwar and Rishikesh.

So far, other than Shakeel Badayuni whom I haven’t given any number (how can I give a number to my all time favourite and the best poet and lyricist?), we have taken up Shailendra and Rajendra Krishan.

Today, we start with the third great lyricist: Kaifi Azmi.

His real name was Sayyid Akhtar Hussein Rizvi. He was born in a village Mizwaan in the district Azamgarh of Uttar Pradesh. His daughter Shabana is a celebrated actress in Hindi movies and son Baba a cinematographer.

Kaifi Azmi was a known poet in the mushairas of that era and as late as in 1970, when I was studying in Government College Dharamshala in Kangra District of Himachal, I heard him in a mushaira in our college.

I like Kaifi’s lyrics and poetry for one unique quality: he’d use very simple words to convey very strong and deep thoughts. Rather than trying to impress you with the different and complex words in the Urdu language, he’d rely more on the play of words.

I am fond of giving this example from Hanste Zakhm:

Dil ki naazuk ragen tootati hain,
Yaad itana bhi koi na aaye.

Or, from Kohra (the song picturised on Biswajeet’s first licentious wife, before he married Waheeda rehman):

Haal ye hai masti kaa, saans lagi thamane
Utane rahe pyaase ham jitani bhii pi hamane

Or from Guru Dutt’s movie Kaagaz Ke Phool:

Jaaenge kahaan poochhataa nahin
Chal pade magar raastaa nahin
Kyaa talaash hai kuchh pataa nahin
Bun rahe hain dil khvaab dam-ba-dam

Let me take you now to the 1961 movie Shola Aur Shabnam, which had the first major role by Dharmendra though he had acted in two movies before that: Dil Bhi Tera Ham Bhi Tere and Boy Friend.

The film, directed and written by Ramesh Saigal was about a young man (my namesake Ravi played by Dharmendra) torn between love for his long lost childhood sweetheart (Tarla Mehta), and devotion towards a friend (M Rajan) who has helped set him up in his career.

This song brings out the feelings of Ravi (Dharmendra) so well in such simple words. Pay particular attention to the last lines:

Kaise baazaar ka dastoor tumhen samjhaayun,
Bik gaya jo woh khareeddaar nahin ho sakta.

Khaiyyam, who was known to give the gentlest of the music, made equally gentle music for these powerful lyrics of Kaifi Azmi. Hats off to Dharmendra that in his first major movie he should attempt such serious and sad role. He is the handsomest man who ever joined Hindi movies and this song in his very first major movie brings out the intensity of his serious acting.

By this time, you would have already seen my bias towards the Raag of the hills, my home station, and I am not going to deny it. This too has been set by Khaiyyam in Raag Pahadi in Tal Dadra.

Please enjoy one of Kaifi’s best: Jaane kyaa dhoondati rehati hain ye aankhen mujh mein….

Jaane kyaa Dhuu.NDhatii rahatii hai.n ye aa.Nkhe.n mujhame.n
raakh ke Dher me.n sholaa hai na chi.ngaarii hai
ab na vo pyaar na usakii yaade.n baakii
aag yuu.N dil me.n lagii kuchh na rahaa kuchh na bachaa
jisakii tasviir nigaaho.n me.n liye baiThaa ho
mai.n vo diladaar nahii.n usakii huu.N khaamosh chitaa

zi.ndagii ha.Ns ke na guzaratii to bahut achchhaa thaa
khair ha.Ns ke na sahii ro ke guzar jaayegii
raakh barabaad muhabbat kii bachaa rakhii hai.n
baar-baar isako jo chhe.Daa to bikhar jaayegii

aarazuu jurma vafaa jurma tamannaa hai gunaaha
ye vo duniyaa hai jahaa.N pyaar nahii.n ho sakataa
kaise baazaar kaa dastuur tumhe.n samajhaauu.N
bik gayaa jo vo khariidaar nahii.n ho sakataa …

Song #2
Itna to zindagi mein kisi ki khalal padhe……

I hope you enjoyed the first song: Jaane kya dhoondti rehti hain ye aankhen mujhmein from the 1961 movie Shola Aur Shabnam. I hope you stayed till the end of the video with tributes to Kaifi Azmi and Mohammad Rafi.

“At age eleven, Azmi wrote his first ghazal Itna To Zindagi Mein Kisi Ki Khalal Pade and somehow managed to get himself invited to a mushaira and over there, he recited a ghazal, rather a couplet of the ghazal which was very much appreciated by the president of the mushaira, Mani Jaisi, but most of the people, including his father, thought he recited his elder brother’s ghazal. When his elder brother denied it, his father and his clerk decided to test his poetic talent. They gave him one of the lines of a couplet and asked him to write a ghazal in the same meter and rhyme. Azmi accepted the challenge and completed a ghazal. This particular ghazal was to become a rage in undivided India and it was immortalised as it was sung by legendary ghazal singer, Begum Akhtar.”

Young Kaifi (Pic courtesy: azmikaifi.com)

 

Please enjoy this ghazal sung by Begum Akhtar and written by Kaifi Azmi at the age of eleven only!: Itna to zindagi mein kisi ki khalal padhe……

Itna to zindagi me kisi ki khalal pade
hansne se ho sukun na rone se kal pade

jis tarah hans raha hun mai pi pi ke ashk-e-gam
yu dusra hanse to kaleja nikal pade

ekk tum ke tum ko fikre nashibo faraz hai
ekk ham ke chal pade to beharhal chal pade

muddat ke bad us ne jo ki lutf ki nigah
ji khush to ho gaya magar aansu nikal pade

saqi sabhi ko hai game tashnalabi magar
may hai usi ke naam pe jiis ke ubal pade

Song #3
Aaj socha to aansu bhar aaye….

You must have seen in the last ghazal Itna to zindagi mein kisi ki khalal pade that at the very small age of just eleven years, Kaifi Azmi had already got two things: sensitivity of a great poet and the ability to use simplest words to describe the strongest emotions.

Here is, as I mentioned in the introduction itself, a favourite of mine from the 1973 movie Hanste Zakham directed by Chetan Anand.

Kaifi Azmi worked with many music directors. But, the music director who took his lyrics to even greater emotional peaks was Madan Mohan. Madan Mohan had a quality that his notes gnawed on your heart and made you feel as if the lyrics had come alive.

This phenomenon occurred in this song sung by Lata Mangeshkar. Look at the lyrics: the simplest of the words to convey the most powerful thoughts.

Chetan Anand, Priaya Rajvansh, Lata Mangeshkar, Madan Mohan and Kaifi Azmi

Please enjoy: Aaj socha to aansu bhar aaye….

aaj sochaa to aa.Nsuu bhar aae
mud.hdate.n ho ga_I.n muskuraae

har kadam par udhar mu.D ke dekhaa -2
unakii mahafil se ham uTh to aae
aaj sochaa …

dil kii naazuk rage.n TuuTatii hai.n -2
yaad itanaa bhii koI na aae
aaj sochaa …

rah ga_ii zi.ndagii dard banake -2
dard dil me.n chhupaae chhupaae

Song #4
Rote rote guzr gayi raat re….

Kaifi Azmi made himself famous not just as a lyricist and poet but also as a writer and dialogue writer and actor in two movies: Yeh Nazdeekiyan (1982) and Naseem (1996). He won two awards for the 1975 MS Sathyu movie Garam Hawa: for the screenplay, as well as for dialogues. One of the dialogues from the movie is my most unforgettable dialogue and I shall get to that later.

He penned his first lyrics for the Shaheed Latif’s 1951 movie Buzdil that were composed by SD Burman. He penned most of the songs and the great Shailendra penned two. It was his song that was the most popular song of the movie.

Lata Mangeshkar sang it. The song was picturised on Nimmi who had perfected acting on such songs wherein she was either dumped or deceived.

SD Burman and Lata Mangeshkar

Please enjoy: Rote rote guzr gayi raat re….

rote rote guzar gayii
rote rote guzar gayii raat re
aayii yaad terii har baat re
rote rote guzar gayii

nii.nd bhii merii na merii ho sakii
roke shabanam bhii na ye Gam dho sakii
thii mai.n terii par na terii ho sakii
rote rote guzar gayii

Kvaab kii duniyaa uja.Dakar rah gayii
chhiin lii suraj ne ghar kii roshanii
chaa.Nd se hotii hai duur ab chaa.Ndanii
rote rote guzar gayii

pyaar kii gha.Diyaa.N bahut yaad aaye.ngii
yaad aakar raat din ta.Dapaaye.ngii
tumako ye tanhaa_iyaa.N Das jaaye.ngii
rote rote guzar gayii

Song #5

For the 1952 movie Zamane Ki Hawa, Kaif penned two songs. One was a forgettable: Malan to aayi Bikaner se and the other was Akele his tadpata hai zamaana composed by Gulshan Shufi and sung by Talat Mehmood. This too is not much remembered.

For the 1952 movie Bahu Beti (not to be confused with 1965 movie of the same name starring Joy Mukherjee and having lyrics by Sahir including Sab mein shamil ho magar sabse juda lagti ho), Kaifi Azmi penned as many as seven songs, all composed by SD Batish and all sung by Geeta Dutt.

Geeta Dutt with the music director Pandit Shiv Dyal Batish

Here is a song with signature Kaifi Azmi lyrics.

Please enjoy: Khata ho kisi ki saja do kisi ko….

diljala ya diljali ek ek tamanna jal gayi
aag ghar me kya lagi
duniya se duniya jal gayi
haye khata ho kisi ki kisi ko saza do
khata ho kisi ki kisi ko saza do
ye insaf kaisa hai itna bata do
khata ho kisi ki

baharo ke mausam me rona pada hai
zara mujhko rona tadapna sikha do
khata ho kisi ki

bahut yaad aayega bita zamana
mera kya mujhe tum bhula do bhula do
khata ho kisi ki

basai thi kisne murado ki duniya
ha murado ki duniya
agar chahate ho mitana mita do
khata ho kisi ki

bade kimti hai mohabbat ke aansu
mohabbat ke aansu
koi jake un par ye moti luta do
khata ho kisi ki kisi ko saza do
ye insaf kaisa hai itna bata do
khata ho kisi ki

Song #6

For the next three years he didn’t write any lyrics (it is to be remembered tghough that Kaifi was more famous as a poet and writer than as lyricist in the Hindi movies).

The next movie for which he wrote lyrics was the 1955 movie Sakhi Hatim, for which he penned five songs and Shewan Rizvi one song. All songs were composed by Alla Rakha Qureshi.

Please enjoy Mohammad Rafi sing: Har gareeb ki dua tumhaare saath hai…

har fakeer ki duaa tunhare sath hai
har fakeer ki duaa tunhare sath hai
ruke na raho me kadam khuda tumhare sath hai
ruke na raho me kadam khuda tumhare sath hai

sabi pe maharban tum sabi ke kherva tum
sabi pe maharban tum sabi ke kherva tum
jaha bhi jaoge tum ban ke rahoge badshah tum
jaha bhi jaoge tum ban ke rahoge badshah tum

sabi ke dard gam ki dava tumhare pas hai
sabi ke dard gam ki dava tumhare pas hai
ruke na raho me kadam khuda tumhare sath hai
ruke na raho me kadam khuda tumhare sath hai

luta ke apna takhat taj dilo me kar kiya ghar
luta ke apna takhat taj dilo me kar kiya ghar
lagege motiyo ke dhere najar utaoge jidar
ki rahmato ki jumti gata tumhare sath hai
ki rahmato ki jumti gata tumhare sath hai
ruke na raho me kadam khuda tumhare sath hai
ruke na raho me kadam khuda tumhare sath hai

banegi shyam bin ki banege ke sab bigde kam
banegi shyam bin ki banege ke sab bigde kam
rahega har juba par sada tumhara nek naam
rahega har juba par sada tumhara nek naam
daga hai gair ke liye wafa tumhare sath hai
daga hai gair ke liye wafa tumhare sath hai
ruke na raho me kadam khuda tumhare sath hai
ruke na raho me kadam khuda tumhare sath hai

Song #7
Hai kali kali ke lab par….

Last night we finished with a song from his 1955 movie Sakhi Hatim. Today, we start with his next, the 1957 movie Jannat for which he penned the lyrics of as many as six songs. One of India’s first music duos Husnlal Bhagatram composed the songs:

1. Dil Kiska Hai
2. Gulo Se Khushbu Udayi Tune
3. Khil Gayi Chandni Pyar Ki
4. Mast Ankhen Hai Ki
5. Mera Pyar Hai Yahi Dildar Hai
6. Rang Phulo Me Nahi

Regrettably, I could neither find the lyrics of the songs nor any videos.

That brings us to his 1958 movie Lala Rukh that starred Talat Mahmood and Shyama. Kaifi Azmi paired, for the first time, with music director Khaiyyam, which started a long association between them.

Mohammad Zahur Khayyam – the gentlest composer

Here are the songs that they created:

1. Hai kali kali ke lab par tere husn ka fasaana.
2. Pyaas kuchh aur bhi bhadka di khalak dikhla ke.
3. Tujhko parda rukh-e-roshan se hataana hoga.
4. Leja meri duaayen daaman chhudane waale.
5. Thi ek shehzaadi.
6. Udaas udaas nigaahon mein noor chhalkaao.
7. Alvida jaane wafa tera nigaheban khuda.

Lets take up the ever so popular: Hai kali kali ke lab par….

It was sung by Mohammad Rafi. It is a tavern song.

hai kalii kalii ke lab par, tere husn kaa fasaanaa
mere gulsitaa.N kaa sab kuchh, teraa sirf muskuraanaa

ye khule khule se gesuu, uThe jaise badaliyaa.n sI,
ye jhukii jhukI nigaahe.n, gire jaise bijaliyaa.n sI
tere naachate kadam me.n hai bahaar kA khazaanaa
hai kalii kalii ke lab par, tere husn kaa fasaanaa …

terA jhUmanaa machalanaa, jaise sar (?) badal badal ke
merA dil dha.Dak rahaa hai, tU lachak sambhal sambhalake
kahii.n ruk nA jaaye zaalim is mo.D par zamaanaa
hai kalii kalii ke lab par, tere husn kaa fasaanaa …

Song #8
Are dekhi zamaane ki yaari, bichhade sabhi baari baari….

That brings us to the 1959 Guru Dutt classic Kaagaz Ke Phool. The movie flopped though in later years it achieved a cult status. Kaifi Azmi came on his own in the movie and he penned the all time best classic song: Waqt ne kiya kyaa haseen sitam sung by Geeta Dutt.

(Poster courtesy: The Quint)

Eventually, Kaagaz Ke Phool came to occupy #160 in best movies of all times.

Kaagaz Ke Phool portended the events to come in Guru Dutt’s real life. In the movie he was a film director whose liaison with Waheeda Rehman was talk of the gossip columns, even though he was a married man. Eventually, he took to alcohol and that’s how Guru Dutt killed himself in real life too.

Look at the songs of the film penned by Kaifi Azmi and composed by SD Burman:

“Dekhi Zamane Ki Yaari” – Mohammad Rafi
“Waqt Ne Kiya Kya Haseen Sitam” – Geeta Dutt
“San San Woh Chali Haawa” – Mohammad Rafi, Asha Bhosle
“Hum Tum Jise Kehta Hain” – Mohammad Rafi
“Ek Do Teen Chaar aur Paanch” – Geeta Dutt
“Ulte Seedhe Dao lagaye” – Mohammad Rafi, Asha Bhosle

We shall be taking up the first two songs tonight.

Lets take up Mohammad Rafi sing the first one and really marvel at the excellence of the lyrics.

Please enjoy: Are dekhi zamaane ki yaari, bichhade sabhi baari baari….

are dekhii zamaane kii yaarii
bichha.De sabhii, bichha.De sabhii baarii baarii
kyaa le ke mile.n ab duniyaa se, aa.NsU ke sivaa kuchh paas nahii.n
yaa phUl hI phUl the daaman me.n, yaa kaa.NTo.n kii bhii aas nahii.n
matalab kii duniyaa hai saarii
bichha.De sabhii, bichha.De sabhii baarii baarii

vaqt hai maharabaa.n, aarazU hai javaa.n
fikr kal kii kare.n, itanii fursat kahaa.N

daur ye chalataa rahe ra.ng uchhalataa rahe
ruup machalataa rahe, jaam badalataa rahe

raat bhar mahamaa.N hai.n bahaare.n yahaa.N
raat gar Dhal gayii phir ye khushiyaa.N kahaa.N
pal bhar kii khushiyaa.N hai.n saarii
ba.Dhane lagii beqaraarii ba.Dhane lagii beqaraarii
are dekhii zamaane kii yaarii
bichha.De sabhii, bichha.De sabhii baarii baarii

u.D jaa u.D jaa pyaase bha.Nvare, ras naa milegaa Kaaro.n me.n
kaagaz ke phUl jahaa.N khilate hai.n, baiTh naa un gulazaaro me.n
naadAn tamannaa retii me.n, ummId kI kashtii khetii hai
ik haath se detii hai duniyaa, sau haatho.n se letii hai
ye khel hai kab se jaarii
bichha.De sabhii, bichha.De sabhii baarii baarii

Song #9
Waqt ne kiya kyaa haseen sitam….

I end with the best song ever penned by Kaifi Azmi. It is still counted amongst the most immortal songs ever made. Hats off to Guru Dutt who in 1959 produced the light and shade effect in the movie without having advanced technical equipment during those days.

It is also the best of the singer Geeta Dutt, Guru Dutt’s wife who too killed herself in a few years after she lost Guru Dutt.

The songs lyrics reflect their story more than the story between Guru Dutt playing Suresh Sinha and Waheeda Rehman playing Shanti in the movie.

Guru Dutt with his wife Geeta Dutt and screen-love of several movies Waheeda Rehman

Please enjoy: Waqt ne kiya kya haseen sitam….

vaqt ne kiyaa kyaa ha.nsii.n sitam
tum rahe na tum ham rahe na ham
vaqt ne kiyaa…

beqaraar dil is tarah mile
jis tarah kabhii ham judaa na the
tum bhii kho gae, ham bhii kho gae
ek raah par chalake do qadam
vaqt ne kiyaa…

jaae.nge kahaa.N puuchhataa nahii.n
chal pa.De magar raastaa nahii.n
kyaa talaash hai kuchh pataa nahii.n
bun rahe hai.n dil Kvaab dam-ba-dam
vaqt ne kiyaa…

Song #10
Dekho ye taare khoye khoye…

The next movie for which he penned songs was the 1959 movie Forty Days starring Premnath and Shakila.

All the songs were composed by Babul except one that was composed by Bipin Babul. Here is the list:

  1. Baithe hain rehguzr par dil ka diya jalaye – Asha Bhosle.
  2. Kahjo aake bahaar kare mera singaar – Asha Bhosle, Mukesh.
  3. Main deewana mastana, mushkil bhed mera pa jaana – Mukesh.
  4. Naseeb hoga mera meharbaan kabhi na kabhi – Manna Dey, Asha Bhosle.
  5. Jhooti mohabbat jhootio adayen – Asha Bhosle.
  6. Dekho yeh taare khoye khoye – Asha Bhosle.
  7. Dhadhke dil dildaar ka – Asha Bhosle.
  8. Parbat parbat dera daala, basti basti ghume – Mahendra Kapoor, Asha Bhosle.

Please enjoy: Dekho ye taare khoye khoye….

dekho ye tare khoye khoye,
phulo me sapne soye soye
rut hansi ki aayi haye
aise me dil kyu roye
dekho ye tare khoye khoye,
phulo me sapne soye soye
rut hansi ki aayi haye aise me dil kyu roye
dekho ye tare khoye khoye

dil me khili hai nayi kaliya,
ho jage hai naye naye armaa
dil me khili hai nayi kaliya,
ho jage hai naye naye armaa
tum jara muskurao tum par bahare kurba
dekho ye tare khoye khoye,
phulo me sapne soye soye
rut hansi ki aayi haye
aise me dil kyu roye
dekho ye tare khoye khoye

jiwan ke chalte firte saye,
kho kho ke na koi kuch paye
jiwan ke chalte firte saye,
kho kho ke na koi kuch paye
jab talak aankh uthao duniya badal na jaye
dekho ye tare khoye khoye,
phulo me sapne soye soye
rut hansi ki aayi haye
aise me dil kyu roye
dekho ye tare khoye khoye

Song #11
Batao kya karungi main jab gam ki raat aayegi….

The next movie in which he penned the lyrics was the 1960 Raj Rishi movie Ek Ke Baad Ek that starred Dev Anand and Sharda. Being a Dev Anand movie, you are bound to ask me, if the songs were composed by SD Burman. The answer is yes. After the 1959 Guru Dutt movie Kaagaz Ke Phool, he was back with SD Burman.

SD Burman and Geeta Dutt (Pic courtesy: learningandcreativity.com)

Meanwhile, if the movies appear to be few and far between, please remember that he was active as a writer. His early work as a writer was mainly for Nanubhai Vakil’s films like Yahudi Ki Beti (1956), Parvin (1957), Miss Punjab Mail (1958) and Id Ka Chand (1958).

Returning to Ek Ke Baad Ek, he penned the following songs composed by SD Burman:

1. Ye jhijhakne thumak thumak hai chali hai.
2. Pagli hawa jaane re bairi ghata jaane re.
3. Haath pasaare raste raste sabko sadaaye dete hain.
4. Aao yaaro aao pyaaro dekho khel nirala.
5. Batao kya karungi main jab gam ki raat aayegi.
6. Chali ye fauj hamari re chal.
7. Na tel aur na baati.

Lets listen to this duet between Geeta Dutt and Mohammad Rafi singing for Sharda and Dev Anand: Batao kya karungi main jab gam ki raat aayegi….

batao kya karungi mai jo gum ki raat aayegi
batao kya karungi mai jo gum ki raat aayegi
jo gum ki raat aayegi mai chand banke aaunga
tamam raat khwaab me tumhare jagmagaunga

dikha sakoge khwaab kya jo nind hi na aayegi
dikha sakoge khwaab kya jo nind hi na aayegi
na aaye nind gum nahi mai nind ban ke aaunga
or aake in gulabi akhadiyo ko chum jaunga

jo nind tut jayegi jo subah ji jalayegi
jo nind tut jayegi jo subah ji jalayegi
mai chori chori subah ki hawa ke sath aaunga
or in ghani ghani lato me phul gund jaunga

jo subah bit jayegi jo dhup tan jalayegi
jo subah bit jayegi jo dhup tan jalayegi
jo dhup tan jalayegi ghataye leke aaunga
bhigounga tujhe bhi or khud bhi bhig jaunga

bas intzaar me yuhi ye umar beet jayegi
bas intzaar me yuhi ye umar beet jayegi
ye intzaar ki ghadi kategi baat baat me
magar ye sart hai yuhi rahe ye hath hath me
rahe ye hath hath me
rahe ye hath hath me

Song #12
Zindagi ye usiki hai jo zindagi se khele…

You won’t believe that there was a movie titled Apna Haath Jagannath for which he penned the lyrics in 1960. The movie starred Kishore KLumar and Leela Chitnis and had the following songs, once again composed by Sachin Dev Burman:

1. Tujhe mili roshni mujhko andhera.
2. Apne haathon ko pehchaan.
3. Ghanshyam Ghanshyam, Shyam Shyam re.
4. Banke gulgule jal ke bulbule.
5. Chal ghata bijli kadki.
6. Permit bina is jahan mein.
7. Zindagi ye usiki hai jo zindagi se khele.
8. Tum jahan jahan ham wahan wahan.

Lets listen to this playful song penned by Kaifi sung by and picturised on Kishore Kumar: Zindagi ye usiki hai jo zindagi se khele…

dil ko sambhal tu gum na pal
dabe dade soye soye armaa nikal
jindagi ye uski hai jo jindagi se khele
jindagi ye uski hai jo jindagi se khele
dunia unke pichhe holi jo chal pade akele
dunia unke pichhe holi jo chal pade akele
jindagi ye uski hai jo jindagi se khele

he jaag uthe arman sare raat gum ki biti
dard hara ranj hara dil ne baji jiti
he jaag uthe arman sare raat gum ki biti
dard hara ranj hara dil ne baji jiti
apne aasu mujhko de de mere hasi tu le le
meri hasi tu le le
jindagi ye uski hai jo jindagi se khele

he humne chunri rang ya rang di takdire
chhap di aachalo par dil ki bhi tasvire
he humne chunri rang ya rang di takdire
chhap di aachalo par dil ki bhi tasvire
odh ke ek din dekh le gori mele lagenge mele
mele lagenge mele
jindagi ye uski hai jo jindagi se khele

karke tona totka tab tune himmat hari
bas me tere aaj tak aayi na chanchal nari
dede sadi ek tapa ke baat bane albeli
jindagi ye uski hai jo jindagi se khele
dunia unke pichhe holi jo chal pade akele
jindagi ye uski hai jo jindagi se khele

Song #13
Jeet hi lenge baazi hum tum…

Yesterday was Navy Day and I was off to Gateway of India for Beating Retreat and Tattoo ceremonies and At Home at C-in-C’s. I am back with you tonight for the fifth day of Kaifi Azmi penned songs.

The last song that we had taken up was for the 1960 movie Apna Haath Jagannath.

The next movie for which he penned songs was the 1961 movie Shola Aur Shabnam, the first major movie of the handsomest actor in Hindi movies: Dharmendra and we have already taken up the song: Jaane kyaa dhondati rehti hain ye aankhen mujh mein on day one itself.

The movie had as many as nine songs, all composed by Khaiyyam including Mummy aur Daddy mein ladayi ho gayi.

This other song, however, is dear to me and many of you and is there in the cover picture of this theme itself. Lata and Mohammad Rafi have sung this. The actress is Tarla Mehta.

And guess what? Dharmendra’s name in the movie was Ravi!

Here is the story from Wiki to know about both the songs:

(Poster courtesy: en.wikipedia.org)

“Ravi or “Bunnu” (Akashdeep) as he’s called at home and Sandhya (Chandrakala) are childhood sweethearts despite Ravi being poor, and Sandhya being rich. Sandhya’s father who is a senior official in the Railways is posted to a distant location, Ravi and Sandhya are separated and out of contact.

Many years later, Ravi (Dharmendra) has matured into a strapping young man. Not being rich or influential, Ravi finds it hard to find a job and decides to approach his friend Prakash (played by M.Rajan). Prakash is a happy-go-luck rich kid, whose family runs a large timber factory amid lush jungles, and is only too happy to hire Ravi at a generous salary (Rs.300 per month, although Ravi asks for only Rs.100).

Prakash’s elder brother is Aakash played by the veteran character actor Abhi Bhattacharya. Aakash is a bachelor, his devious father having caused the suicide of his paramour, a poor village girl. Aakash is often drunk, pining for his lost love, but loves his younger brother dearly and generally spoils him.

Prakash is smitten with and soon to be engaged to, his father’s friend’s daughter Sandhya (Tarla Mehta), who arrives at their jungle home. This is the same Sandhya who had betrothed herself to Ravi in her childhood. Ravi does not recognize her at first, but the moment of truth comes when Prakash asks Ravi to sing a song. This was the same song that Ravi and Sandhya sang in childhood (Jeet hi lenge baazi hum tum), and they both realize it, though neither reveals this secret.

Ravi is still in love with the girl he was separated from in childhood, but does not wish to come in the way of his friend Praskash’s happiness. Sandhya also loves Ravi, and wants to marry him instead of Prakash. Till the climax of the movie, Prakash remains oblivious of the special relationship that Ravi and Sandhya have. Ravi’s feelings for Sandhya are sensed by Aakash who has lost in love himself. Aakash is now faced with a choice: either ignore Ravi and Sandhya’s true love and proceed with the union of Sandhya and Prakash, or break his brother’s Prakash’s heart and side with Ravi & Sandhya.

Oblivious of Ravi’s feelings for Sandhya, Prakash keeps asking him to entice Sandhya towards him. Ravi smilingly soldiers on, trying to find his own happiness in his friend’s. Until, Sandhya threatens to reveal all to Prakash, and break off their engagement (Jaane kya dhoondati rehti hain ye aankhen mujh mein). Faced with this catastrophe, Ravi decides to leave his job with Prakash, and return to his village, but Aakash steps in and persuades him not to leave. Aakash has finally decided to defend the childhood love, against the will of his father.

The seemingly complex love triangle, reaches a climax, with the childhood sweethearts being united, but at the cost of Aakash losing his life in the same manner as his beloved did.”

Please enjoy Lata and Mohammad Rafi sing for Tarla Mehta and Dharmendra this song penned by Kaifi Azmi and composed by Khaiyyam in Raag Bhairavi: Jeet hi lenge baazi hum tum…

rafii:
jiit hii le.nge baazii ham tum, khel adhuuraa chhuuTe na
pyaar kaa ba.ndhan, janm kaa ba.ndhan, janm kaa ba.ndhan TuuTe na

milataa hai jahaa.N dharatii se gagan, aao vahii.n ham jaae.n
tuu mere liye, mai.n tere liye – 2
is duniyaa ko Thukaraaye.n – 2
duur basaa le dil kii jannat – 2
jisako zamaanaa luuTe nA, pyaar kA ba.ndhan

lataa:
milane kii khushI nA milane kA gam, khatm ye jhaga.De ho jaae.n
tU tU nA rahe, mai.n mai.n nA rahuu.N – 2
ik duuje mai.n kho jaae.n – 2
mai.n bhI nA chho.Duu.n pal bhar daaman – 2
tU bhI pal bhar ruuThe nA, pyaar kA ba.ndhan …

Song #14
Dhadakte dil ki tamanna ho mera pyaar ho tum….

In the last song from Shola Aur Shabnam, after I gave you the background and the story, you must have had goose pimples when, in the second stanza, she starts singing with him, her childhood love, after they accidentally meet after years. That’s Kaifi Azmi for you. Unlike many of the lyricists of present day who have already penned thousands of songs, Kaifi penned very few but these are memorable.

It must be becoming more and more interesting for you. And I can hear a sigh from you as I turn to the next song: Dhadakte dil ki tamanaa ho mera pyaar ho tum from Lekhraj Bhakri’s 1961 movie: Shama that starred Suraiya and Nimmi. The story is that of a woman who experiences total heartbreak after arranging the marriage of her love to another woman (Nimmi often played those roles).

The movie had a number of songs composed by Ghulam Mohammad:

1. Aapase pyaar huaa jaataa hai.
2. Dha.Dakate dil kii tamannaa ho meraa pyaar ho tum.
3. Dil Gam se jal rahaa hai jale, par dhuaa.N na ho.
4. Dil gayaa to gayaa dilarubaa mil gayaa.
5. Ek jurm karake hamane chaahaa thaa muskuraanaa.
6. Insaaf teraa dekhaa ai saaqii\-e\-mayaKaanaa.
7. Mast aa.Nkho.n me.n sharaarat kabhii aisii to na thii.
8. Mere mahabuub tujhe pyaar karuu.N yaa na karuu.N.
9. Unakaa ba.Dhaa jo haath yahaa.N dil luTaa diyaa.
10. Wo saadagii kahe.n ise diiwaanagii kahe.n.
11. Yaas ke dar pe jhukaa jaataa hai sar aaj kii raat.

We shall be taking up the first three songs; two tonight and one tomorrow.

Lets take this ever popular number composed by Ghulam Mohammad in Raag Pilu, Tal Kaherava, to which Suraiya lent her voice: Dhadakte dil ki tamanna ho mera pyaar ho tum….

dha.Dakate dil kii tamannaa ho meraa pyaar ho tum
(mujhe qaraar nahii.n) – 2
(jab se beqaraar ho tum) – 2
dha.Dakate dil kii tamannaa ho meraa pyaar ho tum

(khilaao phuul kisii ke kisii chaman men raho) – 2
jo dil kii raah se (guzarii hai vo bahaar ho tum) – 2

(zah-e-nasiib ataa kii jo dard kii sauGaat) – 2
vo Gam hasiin hai jis (Gam ke zimmedaar ho tum) -2
dha.Dakate dil kii tamannaa ho meraa pyaar ho tum

cha.Daauu.N phuul yaa aa.Nsuu tumhaare qadamo.n me.n
merii vafaao.n ke (ulfat kii yaadagaar ho tum) – 2
dha.Dakate dil kii tamannaa ho meraa pyaar ho tum

Song #15
Dil gam se jal raha hai, par dhuaan na ho….

Ghulam Mohammad, at that time, was a protege of Naushad Ali even though older to the latter by nine years. His last movie Pakeezah’s unfinished songs, after his death, were finally composed by Naushad!

We take up just one more song tonight; a very sad song picturised on the “other woman” in the movie: Nimmi, in the title role of Shama.

This was sung by Suman Kalyanpur.

In all these songs, and particularly in this one, you will immediately identify that attribute of Kaifi Azmi: powerful thoughts in simple and smallest words.

Please enjoy: Dil gam se jal raha hai, par dhuaan na ho….

dil Gam se jal rahaa hai jale, par dhuaa.N na ho
mumakin hai isake baad koii, imtehaa.n na ho

(knock knock! “Shama, Shama darwaaza khol do” )
duniyaa to kyaa Kudaa se bhii ghabaraake kah diyaa -2
woh maharbaa.n nahii.n to koii maharbaa.n na ho
dil Gam se …

luuTaa Kushii ne aag lagaa dii bahaar ne -2
barabaad is tarah bhii kisii kaa jahaa.N na ho
dil Gam se …

ab to vahii.n sukuu.n milegaa mujhe jahaa.N -2
ye sa.ngadil zamii.n na ho, aasmaa.n na ho

dil Gam se jal rahaa hai jale, par dhuaa.N na ho

Song #16
Aap se pyaar huaa jaata hai….

Last night, before packing up, we had taken up two out of the three songs that we had selected from the 1961 movie Shama starring Nimmi in the title role and Suraiya as the other woman whose marriage with her (Nimmi’s) love was arranged by Nimmi herself, rendering her totally broken-hearted.

We resume today (we start early as I shall be going in the evening to watch Kahaani – 2; the other movie Dear Zindagi totally avoided by me being a Karan Johar movie and I having not forgiven him for insulting Mohammad Rafi in his Ae Dil Hai Mushkil and hence having decided never to see anything remotely connected with Karan Johar) with the third song from Shama.

This too has been sung by Suraiya on the lyrics of Kaifi Azmi and composition of Ghulam Mohammad. Think of ‘simple words describing powerful feelings’, a trait perfected by Kaifi ji.

Please enjoy: Aap se pyaar huaa jaata hai….

aap se pyaar huaa jaataa hai
khel dushvaar huaa jaataa hai

tumane kyo.n pyaar se dekhaa mujhako – 2
dard bezaar huaa jaataa hai

is tamanna me.n ki tum doge sazaa, tum doge sazaa
dil gunaahaGaar hu_aa jaataa hai

dil jo har qaid se ghabaraataa thaa, ghabaraataa thaa
Kud hii giraftaar huaa jaataa hai

Song #17
Ye nayan dare dare…..

In the next movie, the 1961 Devender Goel movie Razia Sultan, starring Nirupa Roy in the title role, with Jairaj, most of the songs were penned by Anand Bakshi and Asad Bhopali and Kaifi Azmi had just one song: Aaja re deewane.

In the next movie, the 1962 movie Naqli Nawab, the credit for writing the songs went equally to Raja Mehdi Ali Khan and Kaifi Irfani. Kaifi Azmi penned only one: Tum poochhate ho ishq bhala hai ki nahin picturised on Manoj Kumar.

And that brings us to the 1964 movie Kohraa, one of the gems in the lyrical crown of Kaifi Azmi. My favourite Hemant Kumar composed the following and sang the best (first one) of them:

1. Ye nayan dare dare.
2. Jhuum jhuum dhalti raat.
3. O beqraar dil.
4. Raah bani khud manzil.
5. Kaahe bajayi tune.

We shall be taking up the first four; two today and two tomorrow.

Lets first listen to one of the best of Hemant Kumar on his own composition and lyrics of Kaifi Azmi.

Please enjoy: Ye nayan dare dare…..

ye nayan Dare Dare, ye jaam bhare bhare
zaraa piine do
kal kii kisako khabar, ik raat hoke niDar
mujhe jiine do
ye nayan Dare Dare …

(raat hasii.n ye chaa.Nd hasii.n
par sabase hasii.n mere dilabar ) – 2
aur tujhase hasii.n, aur tujhase hasii.n terA pyaar
tU jaane nA
ye nayan Dare Dare …

(pyaar me hai jiivan kii khushii
detii hai khushii kaI gam bhii ) – 2
mai maan bhii luu.N, mai maan bhii luu.N kabhii haar
tU maane nA
ye nayan Dare Dare …

Song #18
Jhuum jhuum dhalti raat…..

The last song today is also from the 1964 movie Kohraa starring Biswajeet and Waheeda Rehman. He is the jagirdaar of a riyaasat and seeks to marry Waheeda after his first wife passes away. It seems that the haveli is totally in the grip of the first wife who had rich and polished ways. Waheeda knows that Biswajeet loves her a lot but she still passes her days in the haveli in the shadow of his dead wife. It is slowly and most beautifully revelealed that she, the first wife, had her licentious ways and Biswajeet actually hated her like anything.

It appears to Waheeda Rehman that the shadow of Biswajeet’s first wife is always there in the haveli

The one song that keeps recurring in the movie is this and it became very popular when the movie was released. Hats off to Kaifi Azmi to so ably describe, through this song, the licentious ways of Biswajeet’s first wife.

Once again, the marvelous composition is that of Hemant Kumar and the voice is that of Lata Mangeshkar.

Please enjoy: Jhuum jhuum dhalti raat…..

jhuum jhuum Dhalatii raat
leke chalii mujhe apane saath
jhuum jhuum Dhalatii raat …

jaane kahaa.N le jaaye dard bharaa ye dil
jaise sadaa detii hai kho_ii huii ma.nzil
jaise sadaa detii hai…
chho.Do piyaa meraa chho.Do haath
jhuum jhuum Dhalatii raat …

haal ye hai mastii kaa, saa.Ns lagii thamane
utane rahe pyaase ham jitanii bhii pii hamane
utane rahe pyaase ham…
Gam ko ba.Dhaa ga_ii Gam kii raat
jhuum jhuum Dhalatii raat …

jisako ko_ii samajhe naa, baat na vo doharaa
meraa teraa jiivan kyaa, chhaayaa hu_aa koharaa
meraa teraa jiivan kyaa …
kisane sunii kabhii dil kii baat
jhuum jhuum Dhalatii raat …

Song #19
O beqraar dil…..

We took up two songs from the 1964 movie Kohraa yesterday with the promise that we shall return tonight with two more.

Before that, here is a gem of information about Kaifi Azmi from his official website:

“Kaifi Azmi was a rare poet who practiced what he preached. A brain hemorrhage on 8th February 1973 paralysed him and rendered his left hand and left leg incapacitated for life. Instead of giving up in despair he decided to leave the comforts of Bombay and settle in Mijwan the tiny village in Azamgarh Eastern UP in which he was born. Mijwan was an obscure village untouched by development and didn’t even have a pin code. Today it is known all over the world because of Kaifi’s untiring efforts to uplift the village. He set up an NGO Mijwan Welfare Society for the empowerment of women with a focus on the girlchild.”

Imagine that!

O beqraaraar dil was composed by Hemant Kumar in Lata‘s favourite raaga: Raag Bhimpalasi, Tal Dadra and she sang it well for the heroine Waheeda Rehman.

The song’s lyrics are, you guessed it, so powerful that they gnaw at your inner spaces and make a place for themselves even if you ain’t a woman. It takes a sensitive poet/lyricist to write in this vein. You will also agree with me that even my favourite Hemant Kumar has handled it with great sensitivity to bring out her mixed feelings at being asked by Biswajeet to marry him even though she has been brought up as and hence used to being a lonely child.

Please enjoy: O beqraar dil……AND PLEASE DO NOT OMIT TO SEE THE ORIGINAL BENGALI SONG SUNG BY HEMANT KUMAR FROM WHERE THIS TUNE WAS TAKEN BY HEMANT DA! (It is at the end of the video that I have given you)

ahaa haa haa …
ahaa haa haa

o beqaraar dil
ho chukaa hai mujhako aa.Nsuuo.n se pyaar
mujhe tuu Kushii na dena
na_ii zi.ndagii na de

milii chaman ko bahaar
ha.Nsii phuul ko milii
giit koyal ko mile
aur mai.n ne paa_ii Kaamoshii
mujhe baa.Nsurii na de ko_ii raaginii na de
o beqaraar dil …

kaalii ghaTaa ghir ke ghaTaa chhaaye
aur pyaasii kalii Gam kii jalii taras taras jaaye

rahe sadaa jo meraa
vahii merii zi.ndagii
hai roz a.ndheraa
aur chaar din kii chaa.Ndanii
mujhe chaa.Ndanii na de mujhe raushanii na de
o beqaraar dil …

Song #20
Raah bani khud manzil…

And now the last song from the 1964 movie Kohraa whose songs were penned so well by Kaifi Azmi that these are amongst his immortal songs.

There is no greater enchantment than Hemant Kumar singing on his own composition. Raah bani khud manzil has that quiet resolve about it, the kind of dignified resolve that suits both the greats: Kaifi and Hemant da.

Please enjoy: Raah bani khud manzil…..

raah banii Kud ma.nzil piichhe rah ga_e mushkil
saath jo aa_e tum
raah banii Kud ma.nzil …

dekho phuul ban ke saarii dharatii khil parii
guzare aarazuu ke raaste.n the jis gha.Dii
jis me churaa_e tum
raah banii Kud ma.nzil …

jharanaa gaa rahii hai merii dil kii daastaa.N
merii pyaas lekar chhaa rahii hai.n mastiiyaa.N
jin me nahaa_e tum
raah banii Kud ma.nzil …

pa.nchhii uu.D ga_e sab gaa ke naGamaa pyaar kaa
lekin dil ne aisaa jaal phekaa pyaar kaa
u.Dane na paa_e tum
raah banii Kud ma.nzil …

Song #21
Hoke majboor mujhe usne bhulaya hoga…

In Chetan Anand’s 1964 movie Haqeeqat, Kaifi Azmi was back with what is regarded as his best pairing: with Madan Mohan.

The movie starring Balraj Sahni, Dharmendra, Priya Rajvansh, Sanjay Khan, Vijay Anand, Jayant and Sudhir is often quoted as a war movie (about 1962 Sino-Indian War) that was made with great sensitivity and broughout out the truth (Haqeeqat) of the conditions in which our soldiers had to fightr in Ladakh; a war having been imposed by and resulted into a debacle by the faulty policies of Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru.

Kaifi Azmi and Madan Mohan created the following immortal songs for the movie:

1 Hoke Majbur Mujhe Usne Bhulaya Hoga Mohammed Rafi, Talat Mahmood, Manna Dey & Bhupinder Singh
2 Ab Tumhare Hawale Watan Sathiyon Mohammed Rafi
3 Zara Si Aahat Hoti Hai To Dil Sochta Hai Lata Mangeshkar
4 Masti Me Chhedke Tarana Koi Dil Ka Mohammed Rafi
5 Khelo Naa Mere Dil Se O Mere Saajanaa Lata Mangeshkar
6 Aai Ab Ki Saal Divaali Munh Par Apane Kun Male Lata Mangeshkar
7 Main Ye Sochkar Uske Dar Se Uthaa Thaa Mohammed Rafi

The song Hoke majboor mujhe usne bhualaya hoga has been sung by Mohammad Rafi, Talat Mehmood, Manna Dey and Bhupinder for four different soldiers expressing their feelings of hopelessness in a desolate place in Ladakh. Not just the singing and composition by Madan Mohan, if you listen to the song carefully, it would occur to you that Kaifi Azmi has indeed used words with great sensitivity indeed at two planes: One, he has expresed the feelings of the soldiers and through them the emotions of their wives and beloveds.

Please enjoy: Hoke majboor mujhe usne bhulaya hoga….

hoke majabuur mujhe usane bhulaayaa hogaa
zahar chupake se davaa jaanake khaayaa hogaa
hoke majabuur…

bhuupi.ndar: dil ne aise bhii kuchh afasaane sunaae ho.nge
ashq aa.Nkho.n ne piye aur na bahaae ho.nge
band kamare me.n jo khat mere jalaae ho.nge
ek ik harf jabii.n par ubhar aayaa hogaa

rafii: usane ghabaraake nazar laakh bachaaii hogii
dil kii luTatii huii duniyaa nazar aaii hogii
mez se jab merii tasviir haTaaii hogii
har taraf mujhako ta.Dapataa huaa paayaa hogaa
hoke majabuur…

talat: chhe.D kii baat pe aramaa.N machal aae ho.nge
Gam dikhaave kii ha.Nsii ne na chhupaae ho.nge
naam par mere jab aa.Nsuu nikal aae ho.nge – (2)
sar na kaa.Ndhe se sahelii ke uThaayaa hogaa

mannaa De: zulf zid karake kisii ne jo banaaii hogii
aur bhii Gam kii ghaTaa mukha.De pe chhaaii hogii
bijalii nazaro.n ne ka_ii din na giraaii hogii
ra.Ng chahare pe ka_ii roz na aayaa hogaa
hoke majabuur…

Song #22

Last night we had started taking up songs of the 1964 Chetan Anand movie Haqeeqat in which Kaifi Azmi paired with the maestro Madan Mohan to create some of his most memorable songs.

We took up one sung by Bhupinder, Rafi, Talat and Manna Dey for the four soldiers in the wilderness of Ladakh whilst fighting a war against the Chinese from 20th to 21st Nov 1962: Hoke majboor mujhe..

I had told you that we would be taking up four.

We start with a song that doesn’t return to mukhada after every antara but is continuous like a nazm. Yes, I am talking about Main ye soch kar uske dar se utha tha. Equal credit for the song goes to all three: Kaifi for the remarkably beautiful and rueful lyrics, Madan Mohan for the exact composition that the lyrics deserved and Mohammad Rafi for its soulful singing.

The effect of the violin played by Music Director Pyarelal in this song also takes the song to a new height.

Please enjoy: Main ye soch kar uske dar se utha tha….

mai.n ye sochakar usake dar se uThaa thaa
ke vo rok legii manaa legii mujhako

havaao.n me.n laharaataa aataa thaa daaman
ke daaman paka.Dakar biThaa legii mujhako

kadam aise a.ndaaz se uTh rahe the
ke aavaaz dekar bulaa legii mujhako

magar usane rokaa
na usane manaayaa
na daaman hii paka.Daa
na mujhako biThaayaa
na aavaaz hii dii
na vaapas bulaayaa

mai.n aahistaa aahistaa ba.Dhataa hii aayaa
yahaa.N tak ke usase judaa ho gayaa mai.n …

With this we finish with Part I of the best songs of Kaifi Azmi, our third lyricist, after Shailendra and Rajinder Krishan in the great lyricist series on my Facebook page Lyrical.

I shall be giving you another 44 songs in the next two parts.

Please remain tuned in.

© 2017, Sunbyanyname. All rights reserved.

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2 Comments

  1. Excellent article very educative I am looking forward to your articles on other lyricists I believe that poetry is the jaan of any song

    1. Thank you Namita. I have a whole lot of articles on my favourite lyricist and poet Shakeel Badayuni, I have done two on Shailendra and one on Rajendra Krishan. Please press the link Browse Alphabetically and you will find a link based index.